The US Labor Department reported Tuesday that job openings rose to a four-year high in June even as a slowdown in hiring renewed concerns about the strength of the economic recovery. According to the agency's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, openings rose by 105,000 in June to 3.76 million, the highest total reported since July 2008. But the report wasn't all good news, as new hires fell by 100,000 from May's numbers, fueling fear that the labor market will continue to hinder the overall economic recovery.
Economists' confidence in the recovery has declined in recent weeks as some worry that it may be derailed by impending government spending cuts and higher taxes scheduled to kick in at the beginning of next year. Making matters worse, the European debt crisis is showing no signs of improving and continues to pose hurdles for American companies struggling along with the economy. Tuesday's report shows that companies are not eager to fill vacancies until they see the impact of the new taxes and spending reductions.